Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ under your liver. It stores bile, a fluid made by your liver to digest fat. As your stomach and intestines digest food, your gallbladder releases bile through a tube called the common bile duct. The duct connects your gallbladder and liver to your small intestine.
Your gallbladder is most likely to give you trouble if something blocks the flow of bile through the bile ducts. That is usually a gallstone. Gallstones form when substances in bile harden. Rarely, you can also get cancer in your gallbladder.
Many gallbladder problems get better with removal of the gallbladder. Fortunately, you can live without a gallbladder. Bile has other ways of reaching your small intestine.
- Biliary Tract Disorders, Gallbladder Disorders, and Gallstone Pancreatitis (American College of Gastroenterology) Available in Spanish
- Gallbladder and Bile Duct Disorders (Merck & Co., Inc.)
Diagnosis and Tests
- Abdominal Ultrasound (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Available in Spanish
- ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography) (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Available in Spanish
- HIDA Scan (Cholescintigraphy) (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Understanding EUS (Endoscopic Ultrasonography) (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy) Available in Spanish
Treatments and Therapies
- Cholecystectomy: Surgical Removal of the Gallbladder (American College of Surgeons) - PDF Available in Spanish
- Gallbladder Removal: Laparoscopic Method (American Academy of Family Physicians) Available in Spanish
- Understanding ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography) (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy) Available in Spanish
- Diet After Gallbladder Removal (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Health Check Tools
- Abdominal Pain (DSHI Systems)